Week 12: Power BI vs Tableau | DS23

by Auguste Navickyte

This week we learnt Power BI. Having used Tableau for over a year now, I was keen to see what similarities and differences there are between Tableau and Power BI. Below, I list my initial thoughts on Power BI whilst comparing it to Tableau.

  1. You can create a donut chart with no extra hassle! Every time I use the chart in Tableau, I have to Google the instructions as I always forget the steps. However, a donut chart is not something I use too often.
  2. Like Tableau, Power BI becomes intuitive quite quickly - an hour or two of playing around and you will be able to guess how to change a title or format something else.
  3. It is very easy to layout your dashboard - no containers needed for maintaining graphs and other items aligned. However, if you have more graphs, KPIs and text boxes, it may eventually get messy.
  4. Getting data from the web is a breeze! You only need an URL address and you are sorted. You cannot do this with Tableau, and even though you can do it within Alteryx, it is still more effortless to do it on Power BI. For the training, we used this IMBD link. We only needed to connect to web data by providing the link, and prep the data that we got (which was pretty neat already).
  5. Speaking of data prep - data preparation in Power BI reminded me of Tableau Prep. Both are very user-friendly and easy to navigate.
  6. Calculations are more difficult to perform on Power BI than Tableau. I did not like the calculated field window; and unlike Tableau, Power BI does not colour code formulas, fields, etc. Perhaps with practice it would become easier.
  7. Formatting section is quite clustered in Power BI and involves too much scrolling every time you want to change something minor.

Overall, both software programmes have their pros and cons, so it is worth trying both and see which you personally like better. My final dashboards from this week's training on Power BI are linked below.

Link 1

Link 2

Link 3 (this one uses the data retrieved from IMBD website)